CB Roger McCreary, Auburn

6’0” – 190 lbs.

Background:

Mobile, Al. native who played sparingly over seven appearances as a freshman before breaking out the following season with 36 tackles, eleven breakups, and one interception. Followed that up with 45 tackles (seven for loss), six breakups, and three interceptions, then racked up 49 tackles, fourteen breakups, and two interceptions (one pick six) as a senior.

Positives:

Productive three-year starter for a major program. Has solid height for a boundary corner. Took snaps on both sides of the defense, mostly out of press-man looks. Reliable snap-to-snap play. Very good man-cover cornerback who can look like he’s running an opponent’s route for him at times; excellent ability to recognize/anticipate patterns. Clean footwork to match releases at the line. Has enough juice to cover routes over the middle or downfield. Very good reaction times to stay glued to receivers through the route stem. Does a nice job of getting his hands on opponents to feel routes without drawing penalties. Recovery speed is above-average. Ball skills are very good; broke up 31 passes and intercepted another six over his three years as a starter. Aggressively attacks blockers in the run/screen games. Reliable tackler who gets ballcarriers down quickly.

Negatives:

Predominantly lined up in press-man; would like to see him play more zone and more different techniques. Overall physical and athletic tools are good but not great. Arms measured under 30” at the Senior Bowl. Can be targeted on short slants by giving up inside positioning. Can get caught up in traffic when working over the middle. Got away with a little bit of grabbiness at times during the games reviewed. Shoulders can get turned by double-moves. Would like to see him get his head around a little bit faster on some targets downfield; can be victimized by receivers who hide their hands, or on patterns like back-shoulder throws.

Summary:

A very polished, consistent press-man cornerback who does so many things right: matches releases well at the line of scrimmage, has very good route recognition skills, uses his hands to feel patterns developing, and made a lot of plays on the ball over the past few years. Could get his head around a little bit faster when targeted down the sideline, and lack of elite physical/athletic tools might give him a slightly lower ceiling than some of the other top cornerbacks in the class, but is one of the most pro-ready options available this year and should be able to work his way onto the field sooner rather than later.

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